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Then Now Where To

JANEE ‘JIN JIN’ BENNETT

 

Jin Jin (aka Janée Bennett) boasts a more diverse catalogue and interesting journey than your average songwriter. With multi-platinum hits across genres, her own label/publishing/management company, Jinsing, and a Senior A&R position at Parlophone Records, she has achieved so much since hanging out in her Grandad’s reggae shop as a child.

 

She joins ConnectsMusic for a chat in our THEN // NOW // WHERE TO series:

 

THEN

 

How did you start out in the world of music? Have you always wanted to be a songwriter?

 

As a child there was always music around me. My grandfather owned a reggae record shop in Manchester, where I would hang around with my family listening and dancing to the records. I also attended various dance and performing arts schools in my local area.

My love for music, as well as performing, created a feeling of happiness and well being within me, as such writing my own lyrics came about fairly easily and naturally.

 

Songwriting is the core of every artist and performance and you have won many awards for being the talent behind the scenes. How did you first get into, specifically, songwriting for others?

 

Having written songs & poetry from a young age, I initially began performing some of them with various bands, but never had the confidence to see it through. My breakthrough in Songwriting came whilst doing a talk on songwriting at a College in East London, when I was approached by Jess Glynne a Music Student. As it happened we both found each other at the right time, as working together helped us both in fulfilling our goals.

 

How would you describe one of your typical songwriting sessions? A day in the (pre-covid) life of Jin Jin…

 

A typical day for me would be turning upto the studio and ordering coffee and food as a priority. Coffee and/tea is great way to break the ice and get going before jumping into actual jamming and starting ideas.  This could also involve an additional night session which might continue until around 3.00am in the morning or even later. Despite my hectic and demanding lifestyle, I can’t complain, I feel honoured to be part of the creative process and couldn’t think of a better profession.

 

What are your favourite moments or experiences in your career so far?

 

I have several favourite moments.  It never gets old hearing songs which I have been involved in being played on the radio for the first time or being able to purchase, download or stream at midnight the day of release.

 

You have your own publishing company, Jinsing, what were the initial inspirations behind starting Jinsing?

 

From my own experience, and knowing how extremely difficult it is to get into the music industry, I wanted to help those with talent, gain access to opportunity. Partly as a way of giving something back, for my own success. I also wanted to be my own Boss and build up my own Brand.

 

NOW

 

All of our lives have been disrupted in various ways due the pandemic, but there is creativity to be found within chaos – how has your working life changed during the last year?

 

Primarily, I have had to work from home and think outside the box in terms of creativity.  Using platforms such as Zoom and has been extremely useful in that my work has been able to continue and I have been able to collaborate.

 

How has the last year been for you creatively? Have you been able to continue to make music and create?

 

During lockdown, I have continued to work hard. Spending a a lot of time going through my music catalogue, finishing off songs and developing new ideas.

 

If you have done remote sessions, how have you found them in comparison to working in person?

 

Remote sessions have been really productive and cost effective in cutting down on travelling across the UK as well as abroad, and having the luxury of working from home in your own surroundings. There is however a downside to this. Face to face working or ‘jamming’ with someone else can be really inspirational and motivational, and you cannot always create this atmosphere alone in your living room.

 

 

You recently became a Board Director at The Ivors Academy. Like many music associations, it seems more important than ever that The Academy is there to represent the voices of music creators amongst all the uncertainty. How have you found this process?

 

It is such an honour to be involved with The Ivors Academy and working as a team other great talents on the Board. Although It is not something which I anticipated at such an early stage in my career, I relish the challenge involved and intend on making the most of my time whilst in this position. My main focus is to continue assisting in’ campaining for creators rights, as well as supporting Songwriters and Composers’.

 

WHERE TO

 

As we have become more used to new ways of working, what’s next for you as a songwriter?

 

I hope to continue to work creatively with different people, whilst also maintaining a healthy work life balance.

 

Whilst live music has been paused, do you think there has been a shift in focus on to the art of songwriting rather than performance? Do you think it will perhaps gain more attention and appreciation?

 

Compared to others in the music industy, Songwriters have been largley unappreciated and often do not get the recognitgion that they deserve. There have been ongoing debates about this, which hopefully can yield positive results in the future.

 

 

How do you feel about the future of the music industry?

 

I see the future as a great opportunity to work with a more diverse range of people from different backgrounds, promoting different genres of music.

 

Have recent experiences influenced your perspective of what you would like to do next within your career in music?

 

I have been trying to produce more and more of my own songs and hope to gain further skills in this field.

 


about Jin Jin

 

Jin Jin (aka Janée Bennett) boasts a more diverse catalogue and interesting journey than your average songwriter. With multi-platinum hits across genres, her own label/publishing/management company, Jinsing, and a Senior A&R position at Parlophone Records, she has achieved so much since hanging out in her Grandad’s reggae shop as a child.

 

“Written By Jin Jin” official Spotify playlist:

Focusing throughout her career on nurturing the best up-coming artists and writers she has a driving passion for helping others realise their potential.

 

Recognising the early talent of the now seven times #1 artist Jess Glynne whilst hosting a song-writing masterclass at Jess’s college, Jin Jin went on to co-write the UK No. 1’s ‘Hold My Hand’ and ‘Not Letting Go’ by Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne, ‘Real Love’ (UK No. 2) and ‘Right Here’ (UK No. 6), being involved in 10 tracks on the debut album overall. She also co-wrote 10 tracks on Jess’s second album Always In Between.

 

Both of Jess’s albums have topped the charts, and Jin Jin was nominated for an Ivor Novello and won a BMI Award for her writing on ‘Hold My Hand’. Jess’s debut album I Cry When I Laugh is now 4 x Platinum in the UK alone.

 

Brought up in Manchester, she moved to London and became known initially for her work in the UK grime scene with Wiley and Roll Deep, but has gone on to collaborate with a host of international producers and artists.

 

Producers such as Fraser T Smith, Toby Gad, Stephen Di Genius, Diplo and David Guetta, and artists Jax Jones, Paloma Faith & Sigala, RAYE, Madison Beer, Sean Paul, Rita Ora, Clean Bandit, Craig David, Gary Barlow, Jennifer Lopez & Maluma, Joel Corry, Burna Boy and break-through artists Hailee Steinfeld and Becky G.

 

In recognition of her achievements she was nominated for Songwriter Of The Year at the Music Business Worldwide Awards 2018, and won the “Music Creative” Award at Music Week’s 2018 Women In Music event. She also recently won her second BMI award for Madison Beer’s ‘Home With You’ and joined the board of Directors of the prestigious Ivors Academy in 2020.

 

TOP SONGS:

‘Hold My Hand’ by Jess Glynne – Ivor Novello Award nominated and over 344million streams.

‘You Don’t Know Me’ by Jax Jones ft. Raye – 480million+ streams

‘Home With You’ by Madison Beer – 200m+ streams and winner of a BMI Award

‘Lullaby’ by Sigala & Paloma Faith – in the top 10 biggest songs of 2018 & multi-Platinum sales

‘Alien’ by Jonas Blue & Sabrina Carpenter – 45million+ streams and #1 on the Billboard dance charts

Singles ‘All I Am’, ‘No One’ and ‘One Touch’ (with Jax Jones) from Jess Glynne’s second #1 album ‘Always In Between’ as well as 8 other tracks on the album

3 songs for Sigala’s album ‘Brighter Days’

‘Decline’ and ‘Friends’ by RAYE

‘Family Tree’ – Ramz – Silver in the UK

‘Check’ – Kojo Funds x Raye – Gold in the UK

YEBBA’s debut single ‘Evergreen’

see more at Jin Jin’s website

 

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